tv // lbd // shoulder touch

Sam Carter in command

I've been reading the "Sam Carter -- Ready for command" thread over at GW. It's interesting what the discussion has morphed into... a kind of debate about whether or not the character as a whole is successful, which really isn't the question. But some people just can't resist the opportunity to get their two cents in, about whatever their agenda or issue is. (Yes, I know, I have certain long-winded people on ignore for a reason... but sometimes I just can't help myself).

I admit to not spending a whole lot of time wondering whether or not she's 'ready'. It simply seemed obvious to me that, as of Seasons 5 and 6, she is and has been being groomed (by Jack and by the writers) as a future team leader. Because of RDA's lessened role, and also because of the way stories have gone, Sam has found herself in leadership roles far more significant than her little foray in "Spirits". In "The Sentinel", she had the responsibility of keeping the Jaffa away long enough for the others to get the machine working, and ultimately wound up in the position of making a life of death choice. (Ah, forcefields. You gotta love em!) Threaded throughout recent seasons have been cases, such as "Shadowplay", where she's taken more of a 'spokesperson' role than she previously has. "Paradise Lost" demonstrated that Sam is part of what I'm sure is a very short list to command SG-1, should anything happen to Jack. (This could be contrasted with "Shades of Gray", where she and Hammond decided what someone else (specifically someone of higher rank) should head the team. Or you could say that this doesn't count because it was all part of the plan. I guess it depends whether or not they suspected Makepeace from the beginning at all. Anyway.)

As well as establishing this changing attitude towards Sam militarily, there have been changes to the character that I think are also noteworthy. She's a lot more relaxed now, a lot more comfortable in her own skin than she was at the beginning of the series (which can be attributed to AT becoming more comfortable, I know, but stay with me here). Some have pointed out that her arguing with Jack (such as in "Unnatural Selection") is a sign that she's unprofessional... at the very least insubordinate. But with a role model like Jack (King of Insubordination ;)), what else do you expect? As Sam grows, she gets more experience on the field, gets her own ideas about how things should be done, starts changing from a follower into a leader in her own right. (That's why I liked Hailey -- even if she was incredibly annoying, she allowed a different side of Sam to emerge -- the "I outrank you and don't you forget it" side. As a Major, she does outrank a lot of people, but seeing as how the show is focused on SG-1, she doesn't interact with enlisted on a regular basis). Two strong differences of opinion are going to clash; that's part of the reason people go all ga-ga over Jack and Daniel. Initially Sam was far more restrained in her disagreement; she had to be. But now, she has more leeway, more pull with 'the boys' than she had in the early seasons. And she knows it.

Whew. That's a lot of thinking. I'll continue later.
  • Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
  • Current Music: Lifehouse -- Spin
She's a lot more relaxed now, a lot more comfortable in her own skin than she was at the beginning of the series

Is it so unreasonable to think that the characters might ::gasp:: change? That they might grow in personality and character over the years they've been working together - the same way people grow and change over a period of time.

Surprise, surprise.

Some have pointed out that her arguing with Jack (such as in "Unnatural Selection") is a sign that she's unprofessional... at the very least insubordinate. But with a role model like Jack (King of Insubordination ;)), what else do you expect?

I think that's a point that a lot of people who've expressed the 'unprofessional'/'insubordinate' opinion seem to miss. It's okay and laudable for Jack to take an attitude of 'shoot from the hip' but unacceptable for Sam to do the same - in spite of the fact that he has been her primary leadership role model for the last six years. Hammond sure might have given Sam some insights into a more sedate style of command, but with Jack as her primary influence...

Then, too, there is the strong resistance to change in any form in this fandom (and probably a lot of others). Change of the situation, development of the characters, changing of the guard in the Jonas-for-Daniel (and indeed the Daniel-for-Jonas switch coming up in S7)...

And as seen with the outrage over AT's 'sexy' pic - maybe people are too hidebound and close-minded to admit that AT might be sexier than Sam Carter - and not be afraid to show it off. That Major Sam Carter of S6 is a slightly different woman in behaviour and command style to Major Sam Carter of S3 or even Captain Sam Carter of S1.

Sam comes under a lot of misogyny from the women in fandom - those who can't stand the fact that she is a good-looking woman, can dress as such, and has a lot of very useful and useable skills in the AF. While it's not "super sam" or "perfect sam" as assorted people in fandom have accused both the character and her fans of thinking (usually to promote "poor Daniel" or "always right Jack" view), it's still making the most of a character - and possibly also making the most of a very skilled actress.
<<
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<and [...] 'sexy'>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

<<<And as seen with the outrage over AT's 'sexy' pic - >>>

Seriously? There was outrage? What a silly thing to get upset over - I thought she looked great.
I don't have the stomach or the nerves for the GW forums, but I really like this analysis, Alli. Thanks.

I also think that your "of course Sam argues back with Jack, he's insubordinate himself" argument can apply, a little bit, to Sam and Hailey. I mean, I suspect that Cadet Carter was pretty self-righteous and smarter than everyone around her, too, if not as overtly so as Hailey. Um ... I'm not sure that makes sense. Oh well.
don't have the stomach or the nerves for the GW forums, but I really like this analysis, Alli.
Thanks.


Welcome :)

I also think that your "of course Sam argues back with Jack, he's insubordinate himself"
argument can apply, a little bit, to Sam and Hailey. I mean, I suspect that Cadet Carter was
pretty self-righteous and smarter than everyone around her, too, if not as overtly so as Hailey.
Um ... I'm not sure that makes sense. Oh well.


lol, I think I get what you're saying. A certain amount of ego does come from basically being the best in everything. Of course, there are some major differences between the two of them. I just can't see Cadet Sam being that snarky to her superiors, and obviously she was more motivated than Hailey. Plus, I imagine that having a General for a father affected her behavio
I am only in Season Five where I am, but I can tell Sam has evolved quite a bit from Season One. She is more relaxed, more confident about balancing her self as a scientist and as a Major in the Air Force. I can definitely see her being groomed to become Sg-1's new team leader.

Some have pointed out that her arguing with Jack (such as in "Unnatural Selection") is a sign that she's unprofessional... at the very least insubordinate. But with a role model like Jack (King of Insubordination ;)), what else do you expect?

And if she is being groomed by Jack and by Hammond, wouldn't Hammond have a say in who her role model for leadership be? I'm sure he would perhaps rotate her to serve under different commanders for a short time while Sg-1 is on down time, to gain a different perspective on how to lead, if he had a problem with Sam picking up some of Jack's command style.
I am only in Season Five where I am, but I can tell Sam has evolved quite a bit from Season One. She is more relaxed, more confident about balancing her self as a scientist and as a Major in the Air Force.

Oh, you bet. I think S4 and 5 were the big years with regards to that evolution -- she's a lot more comfortable with talking back and disagreeing because she has the know-how and experience to back up what she's saying, and she's confident of her place and the people around her. Season One was about Sam proving herself to, well, herself, and to everyone else. Season Two and early Season Three had a lot of personal developments -- Jolinar and the Martouf situation, her dad being sick and becoming a host, reconciling (we can assume, I think) with her brother. Season Three was the first full season that I think she felt truly comfortable with the rest of the team, could show more emotion, could 'let her hair down', so to speak. Once that was accomplished, I think that the character was able to evolve much more swiftly.

I can definitely see her being groomed to become Sg-1's new team leader.

And why not? She has tons of first-hand first contact and combat experience and is, quite frankly, pretty damn smart as practical situations go. She's not perfect, she has aspects she needs to work on... but hey, so does Jack ;) The important thing, should she come to have her own team, is to realize what those weaknesses are and make sure she surrounds herself with people who can help supplement her in those areas. That's what Jack did, even if he didn't exactly handpick his team.

And if she is being groomed by Jack and by Hammond, wouldn't Hammond have a say in who her role model for leadership be?

Very good point. Hammond, as far as we know, is at the SGC nearly every day and strikes me as a fairly hands-on commander. He's personable, even friendly, with the people he commands. If he saw an attitude or tendancy towards a certain attitude developing in Carter that he didn't like, you're dang right he would be able to trace it to its source. And if that source was Jack - if Jack was being a 'bad influence' on her - he would find her a new role model.

Jack's not perfect, of course. He has a typical 'shoot first, ask questions later' approach to problems. He's fairly emotional, especially when it comes to kids or doing what he sees is 'the right thing'. He has a tendancy to let his mouth run away with him. He's stubborn, and he's no politican, which is probably a negative as far as any future promotions go ;) He was brought back into the SGC program under somewhat questionable circumstances, and he isn't afraid to tell authority to occassionally take a hike. All of which could very well 'rub off' on Sam (*splashes around in the gutter briefly*). But he has a lot of positive aspects as well, and Hammond knows this. Jack can make the tough decisions without floundering, but he's certainly not without a moral compass. And a lot of the things above (stubborness, being a straight-talker) could just as easily be considered good personality traits. Jack drives Hammond crazy, sure. But Hammond also likes and respects Jack tremendously for the things he's done and the sacrifices he's made.

And apparently I am just impossible to shut up today
I agree. Talk away! It makes for an interesting read.

(On another note, I could relate the 'impossible to shut up' comment to SAS, but I'll hold back this time)